ARETE RYAN; AIGUILLE DU PLAN

The E. Ridge of the Aig. du Plan rises from Envers de Blatiere Glacier, flanked by the Pain de Sucre and the Dent du Crocodile in the heart of the Chamonix Aiguilles. Another classic from Rebuffat’s bible, this striking line was first climbed back in 1906 from the Montenvers train to the summit in an incredible twelve hours and forty minutes, Chapeau!

Being the relatively soft and timid modern alpinists that we are,  Eva and myself opted to spend a leisurely afternoon at the wonderful Envers des Aiguilles Refuge complete with a 3 course meal and cozy bed. We set off in the predawn hours for the 2 hour glacial approach leading to the infamous bergshrund crossing which is often the crux of the entire course. Excellent snow conditions allowed easy access to the fluted slopes of the Pain de Sucre which we followed to a variation pioneered by Lionel Terray.

TWILIGHT

PAIN DE SUCRE
VARIANT TERRAY

 Once back on the rock we more or less stayed on the crest of the ridge for 350m of old school Chamoniarde style climbing. While never too difficult, the seemingly endless supply of chimneys and wide cracks made sure we got our money’s worth.

APPROACHING THE 1ST STEP

THE GOODS
EVA IN CHIMNEY LAND

UP
MER DE GLACE
MENU DU JOUR

DENT DU REQUIN

MORE WIDENESS

GETTING CLOSER

FINAL STEP

MIDI – PLAN TRAVERSE

We finished with the airy Plan – Midi traverse to join the hordes of gawking touristas at the top of the Aig. du Midi for a quick download to sandals and green grass.

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